LIMERICK’S preparations for their Munster SHC title defence has received a timely boost with key players winning their fitness battle.
Trio Declan Hannon, Seamus Hickey and David Breen all played full games for their respective clubs in last weekend’s Limerick SHC.
None of the three started any of Limerick’s six National League games due to long term injuries but were first team regulars last season with the county side.
While the return of the trio is a boost to TJ Ryan’s Limerick side, there is a concern about defender Tom Condon, who didn’t line out for his club side Knockaderry in the Limerick Premier IHC.
The progress of all four will be again monitored next weekend with another round of club championship before the final countdown begins to Limerick’s Munster championship clash with Tipperary on June 1.
Club champions Na Piarsaigh laid down a marker to all contenders to their crown with a most impressive opening round win over Kilmallock last Sunday.
They continue on their title defence this Saturday (7.00) when they play fellow round one winners South Liberties in Claughaun.
But the injuries are beginning to mount for the Caherdavin men with Buckley brothers Mark and Niall and Breen brothers Kieran and Adrian all now on the treatment table.
At the Childers Road venue at 3.00 on Saturday, Patrickswell play Knockainey - both looking to bounce back from round one defeats.
Also on Saturday (7.00), Ballybrown play Effin in Kilmallock in a repeat of the 2011 county IHC final.
The weekend’s action commences on Friday evening (7.00) in Clarina with Adare playing Murroe-Boher.
This game could be a shoot-out between county colleagues Hannon and Seanie Tobin. Hannon hit 0-8 for Adare in round one, while Tobin accounted for 0-9 of his side’s total.
On Sunday (2.00), Caherconlish hosts an east Limerick derby with Doon playing Ahane.
Both were victorious in round and another win would put either in the driving seat in Group One.
Although he retired from inter-county action last December, Niall Moran hit 14-points for Ahane in their thrilling 1-20 to 1-19 win over Patrickswell last weekend.
On Sunday evening (6.30), Kilmallock and Granagh-Ballingarry will look for first wins of the season.
2012 champions Kilmallock were beaten by 12-points by Na Piarsaigh and will want to return to winning ways. After next weekend the club hurling champions will break until June 13-15